Tips For Your Best Zoom Experience

Or Skype, or Google Meet, or GoToMeeting, or whatever.

As I bounce around social media, I keep running across a lot of spurious advice on how to project a “professional” impression as you, like everyone else, participates in video calls from home. This seems to be particularly true on LinkedIn.

Most of that advice is hogwash.

Most of that advice is based on pre-COVID thinking that wasn’t even really applicable then. Here is a sample of things that are perfectly fine for your Zoom call:

  1. Your kids – Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.
  2. Your pets
  3. Your bookshelves, replete with all of those low-brow fiction paperbacks you read on vacations past.
  4. The stack of dirty dishes on the counter behind you as you Zoom in from your kitchen table
  5. Your doorbell as another Amazon package is delivered

The list could go on, but here’s the bottom line: we’re all winging this. Do what you have to do and do what you’re comfortable with and it’ll be fine. I’m not saying don’t make an effort. By all means, wear a decent shirt and do something with your hair. If you really want to put away those dishes, do it. But don’t feel like it’s necessary.

I’m lucky enough to have an office where I can shut the door, but we have four dogs and it’s guaranteed that at least one will bark during any call lasting longer than 30 seconds. I also realize that not everyone has a similar setup and whatever situation others are calling in from is fine.

So my Zoom advice is this: ignore any advice about what is “professional” on a Zoom call, find your own comfort level, and run with it.